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Meta fires over two dozen employees for hijacking Facebook user accounts: report

Meta slapped with 5.5 mn euro fine for EU data breach
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More than two dozen Meta Platforms employees and contractors were reportedly terminated for hijacking Facebook user accounts, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

In certain cases, bribery was involved too, according to the WSJ, which cited officials and records.

Meta disciplined or terminated two dozen employees for hijacking Facebook user accounts

According to the paper, people who were banned from their Facebook accounts were unable to recover access by typical procedures, such as contacting Facebook directly. As a result, several users sought help from outside sources who had contacts inside Meta who were prepared to recover accounts for them.

According to records obtained by the Journal, some workers accepted bribes from hackers in order to compromise or access user accounts. The terminations or disciplinary actions were the outcomes of an internal investigation, the report stated.

“Individuals selling fraudulent services are always targeting online platforms, including ours, and adapting their tactics in response to the detection methods that are commonly used across the industry,” Andy Stone, Meta communications director, told CNBC.

“People should never buy or sell accounts or pay for an account recovery service because doing so violates our Terms,” Stone stated. “We also regularly update our security measures to address this kind of activity and will keep taking appropriate action against those involved in these kinds of schemes.”

Accused contractors accepted bribes and worked for Allied Universal

As per the investigation, several of the fired employees were engaged as Allied Universal contractors who provided security for Meta locations and had access to internal staff tools to aid corporate employees.

The tools were originally designed for internal and special case use and were referred to as “Oops,” an abbreviation for Online Operations. According to the claim, the technology allowed personnel to reinstate any individual user’s access to their original account.

According to one now-fired worker, he was lured into making false Oops reports on account of hackers, The Verge reported. Another employee, who denied involvement, apparently received thousands of dollars in Bitcoin in exchange for cooperating with hackers.

However, even outside Meta’s staff, some companies offer account restoration to users as a paid service, proposing to bend the rules within the organization.

About the author

Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.




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